Exploring the sound of string theory

Oct 13, 2011

A new collaboration between physicists and sound artists at Queen Mary, University of London, has produced a sonification of string theory equations. The project is being unveiled at a concert on 5 and 6 November, 2011.

Flow Motion are electronic musicians and sound Anna Piva and Edward George, formerly artists in residence at Queen Mary. They produce multimedia installations and sound art performances based on academic research.

During their residency at Queen Mary, Flow Motion collaborated with Dr David Berman from the School of Physics and Astronomy, and Dr James Sparks, Mathematical Physicist at the University of Oxford, to explore the relationship of ideas of string theory with sound and music.

Their latest project, Explorations in Eleven Dimensions, will have as its basis the of Dr Berman’s string theory equations, and a series of explorations of frequency and micro-tonality in the work of Bach and Debussy with Dr Sparks.

Dr Berman explains: “The cutting edge of science has always impacted the music and art world; Einstein’s relativity and the world of quantum mechanics has been influencing artists for 100 years. Now string theory is at the cutting edge of physics and the interest by artists in the challenging concepts of theoretical physics continues. We have been exploring the relationship between the cutting edge of science and that of art.”

String theory attempts to provide a complete, unified, and consistent description of the fundamental structure of our universe, and is often referred to as the theory of everything. The Centre for Research in at Queen Mary aims to expand our knowledge of string and quantum field theories both at the conceptual and the computational level.

Flow Motion will be joined for the performance by a quartet of musicians from London’s classical and improvised music scene.

The performance will be followed by a talk by Flow Motion, Dr Berman, and Dr Sparks.

Explore further: Can science eliminate extreme poverty?

More information: Explorations in Eleven Dimensions will be held on Saturday 5 November and Sunday 6 November at 7.30pm in The Octagon, Queen Mary University of London.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Unravelling the random fluctuations of nothing

Aug 02, 2007

The dream of theoretical physics is to unite behind a common theory that explains everything, but that goal has remained highly elusive. String theory emerged 40 years ago as one of the most promising candidates for such ...

Cambridge makes music from 'dark energy'

Sep 21, 2007

An invisible force so mysterious that it has yet to be understood by even the most eminent astronomers is being turned into music at a new Cambridge University exhibition.

Recommended for you

Can science eliminate extreme poverty?

Apr 16, 2014

Science has often come to the rescue when it comes to the world's big problems, be it the Green Revolution that helped avoid mass starvation or the small pox vaccine that eradicated the disease. There is ...

Japan stem cell body splashes cash on luxury furniture

Apr 14, 2014

A publicly-funded research institute in Japan, already embattled after accusing one of its own stem cell scientists of faking data, has spent tens of thousands of dollars on designer Italian furniture, reportedly to use up ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

Newlyweds, be careful what you wish for

A statistical analysis of the gift "fulfillments" at several hundred online wedding gift registries suggests that wedding guests are caught between a rock and a hard place when it comes to buying an appropriate gift for the ...

Can new understanding avert tragedy?

As a boy growing up in Syracuse, NY, Sol Hsiang ran an experiment for a school project testing whether plants grow better sprinkled with water vs orange juice. Today, 20 years later, he applies complex statistical ...

Roman dig 'transforms understanding' of ancient port

(Phys.org) —Researchers from the universities of Cambridge and Southampton have discovered a new section of the boundary wall of the ancient Roman port of Ostia, proving the city was much larger than previously ...

Crowd-sourcing Britain's Bronze Age

A new joint project by the British Museum and the UCL Institute of Archaeology is seeking online contributions from members of the public to enhance a major British Bronze Age archive and artefact collection.

Better thermal-imaging lens from waste sulfur

Sulfur left over from refining fossil fuels can be transformed into cheap, lightweight, plastic lenses for infrared devices, including night-vision goggles, a University of Arizona-led international team ...

Hackathon team's GoogolPlex gives Siri extra powers

(Phys.org) —Four freshmen at the University of Pennsylvania have taken Apple's personal assistant Siri to behave as a graduate-level executive assistant which, when asked, is capable of adjusting the temperature ...